Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
Leave Me In Love
An introduction to The High Wire
Anorak LondonLondon trio The High Wire first got onto my radar over a year ago, as we were both headed to New York City for CMJ and while our paths would not cross – I believe their showcases were done before I even arrived – the samples I heard made a truly indelible impression. More than anything, they reminded me of my beloved Mojave 3 in the way they stitched together rootsy song structures with a threads of shimmering dream-pop, and also in the way that Tim Crompton and Canadian ex-pat Alexia Hagen’s voices intertwined overtop – the interplay was Halstead-Goswell-like, and you should know that’s not a compliment I hand out lightly. Add in touchstones like Mercury Rev and Spiritualized and there was really no way I wasn’t going to be entranced by this band.
Since my tastes always reflect the zeitgeist as a whole, I fully expected them to be one of the more talked-about bands of 2009. CMJ reports were positive and they were then tapped to open up in London for Coldplay at the end of 2008 so it certainly seemed that their ducks were getting in a row. In anticipation, I ordered up a copy of their debut album Ahead Of The Rain, released independently early this year, and waited for the buzz to build. And waited. Long story short (I could have added in a few dozen more “and waited”s), it seemed like the record and the band just disappeared. It certainly wasn’t for lack of quality, as Ahead Of The Rain delivered on much of the promise I had initially heard last year, rich in sun-kissed melodies and hazy yet substantial atmosphere. But with an online presence that was vague at best – I was a bit amazed I had managed to order a copy of the CD – I feared that they had simply gone away as nascent bands are wont to do. I revisited the album periodically throughout the year but The High Wire largely became out of sight, out of mind.
And then, around mid-November, I started to hear it. A faint, but definite buzz. An MP3 from a new album – Ahead Of The Rain‘s time had passed, apparently – followed by glowing profiles in The Guardian and Spinner… it seems like The High Wire’s time has come, if a year or so later than I’d expected. Their new record The Sleep Tape is set for a March 2010 release and based on the lead single “Odds And Evens” and other samples off their MySpace, they’ve fattened up their sound some but lost none of the sweetness that initially beguiled. Am I excited about this record? Yes, I would say that I am.
The Line Of Best Fit reports that UK folk trio Peggy Sue have signed to Wichita Recordings and will release their debut album Fossils And Other Phantoms in April 2010. A new song is available to anyone who signs up to their mailing list. An old song is available to anyone who clicks the link below.
NPR is streaming a World Cafe session with Fanfarlo. So you know how I’d said that the only silver lining to Fanfarlo cancelling their show at the El Mocambo last night on account of a stolen passport was that I’d get to go see Blue Roses at the Drake instead? Well guess who canceled on account of a “massive passport problem”? Yeaaaaah. Maybe they can make up their dates together.
The Daily Growl is streaming “Goodbye England”, the new single from Laura Marling and offering downloads of live versions it and another new song from her next album. She’s at the Drake Underground on February 9.
Hot Chip’s Al Doyle talks to Spinner about the making of their next album One Life Stand, out February 9. They’re at the Kool Haus on April 20 with The xx, whose recent instore in Boston was recorded by Bradley’s Almanac and is now available to download.
Billboard reports that Elvis Costello will release another vintage live record to follow up this year’s Live At The El Mocambo. Live at Hollywood High, a recording from Los Angeles circa June 1978, will be out January 12.